Thursday, 8 December 2011

Hello & Goodbye

So yes, I am still alive :-)

I've been putting this 'final post' off for ages, as it feels a bit sad, but I think the time has come.

I did think I would carry on blogging here as EE had become so much a part of life for me, I thought it would just evolve along with the changes in our lifestyle. But its not really working like that.

Our lives have changed so completely over the last 6 months or so, and things are going really, really well for both of us. I've mentioned before about how A isn't so comfortable with me writing so much about her now, and I would always respect that. Something I hadn't foreseen is the way I feel less comfortable about writing about the more personal stuff going on in my world now too. There's some very exciting prospects ahead, but this doesn't feel like the right arena to share it in. Sorry to be so obscure!

So this is just a last 'ta ta' to anyone still checking in here - I'm going to leave the blog open as the old HE stuff may be of interest to someone who comes across it via the blogrings etc - but I wont be posting any more.

So cheers m'dears - its been lovely ;-)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Self indulgent insomniac ramblings

I went to bed before 11. Its now ten to 1, and as I'm no closer to sleep than I was an hour ago, in fact I feel more awake if anything, I thought I'd scribble some notes for a blog post.

So what's going on in my head at this hour? I have to admit that just now its mostly work-related. Not surprising I suppose, as its all still fairly new, but this new (part-time!!) job does seem to have taken over my entire life. I'm assuming the work-life balance bit will level out soon?

These past 4 weeks have been extremely stressful. Not necessarily in a bad way - I'm sure its the same for most people going into a new work environment. I just want so much for the newbie stage to be over. I still feel slightly nervous every time I go in, and I'm a bit sick of that.

Its true - I do 'worry too much', as I've often been told throughout my life. According to some I also 'think too much' (?) So what, exactly, am I worrying about:
Am I up to the job?
Am I going to get something spectacularly and ridiculously wrong?
Do my colleagues like me?
And seemingly the biggest one:
Do they think I'm stupid?

This last one is a concern that plagues me in most situations. I know I'm not stupid, but I'm acutely aware that I'm really not very articulate, verbally anyway. And I think that I can easily come across as a bit thick because of my lack of repartee.
I wish this didn't bother me so much, and that I could say "I don't care what people think of me!" and mean it - but it does matter to me, especially when its people I'm dealing with on a daily basis.

I have literally no idea what other people make of me, I find it very difficult to read people in that way. All I have to go on is my own self image, which is not very healthy or kind, so thats a bit depressing.
At work I've been making a huge effort to be more friendly and smile more, but then I wonder if I just look like a big grinning idiot!?
Sometimes I long to know how others see me, but what if its even worse than I imagine? maybe I'm better off in ignorance.
I could drive myself mad with all this stuff.

So. I have developed a plan of action (of sorts). I have made the decision to go ahead and join the local gym. I think I can just about afford that luxury for myself. And I will seriously throw myself back into a proper training regime. I would love to get back to some running too, but will see how it goes on the treadmill for a while, taking it very slowly. I still don't trust these shins.
I know I feel better about myself when I feel fitter and stronger. Also, I'll be better equipped to beat up anyone who says I'm stupid.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Postman Lady

I was delivering a parcel the other day - a small child answered the door then shouted: "Mum, its the postman lady!"

I quite like that title :-)

The job is still going very well. I finally had the driving assessment (the first one was cancelled) - very nerve-wracking! But the assessor said I was safe to drive, which is just as well because thats the main part of the job. I have to say, hearing the list of all the things I did wrong did knock my confidence a bit, and I was feeling quite nervous about driving the van the next day. But its probably good to be aware of things I need to address.
I'm definitely liking working in a male dominated environment ;-) There's quite a good-natured vibe about the place, with a fair bit of piss-taking and wind ups. I'm sure it will take me a while to suss it all out and navigate the workplace politics, but for the moment I'm just enjoying the uncomplicated blokeyness of it all.

I'm still struggling a little with getting into the new work routine, especially with A being on school holiday. She's been off here, there and everywhere with various friends. She has been very good about keeping in touch, being home on time and doing bits of housework I've asked her to do. She's really showing how mature she's become, and has been very supportive to her working Mum.

I feel I'm going to be writing less and less about A. There's plenty going on with her (mostly good, some slightly worrying - from a protective Mum point of view!) but it just doesn't seem right to be writing about her so much any more. I've always checked with her that she's ok with what I'm writing, but even that seems like a bit of an intrusion these days.
I've had to really consciously 'let go' in lots of ways over the last few months. One of the hard things about being a single parent is not being able to discuss and debate changes - how much more freedom do I give her? I suppose none of us really know if we're getting it right. I'm thankful for the fact that we still get on well, still laugh together, and she still tells me stuff. I am hugely proud of her, did I ever mention that?

So, with A more than ever off doing her own thing, its made me think about all the new freedom I now have. What could I get up to? Climb more mountains...write a novel...get a boyfriend...learn to surf...
More suggestions anyone??

Monday, 3 October 2011

Back on the (health) wagon

I was lying on the sofa yesterday feeling a bit like a whale, and decided "enough of this nonsense". I haven't actually put on any weight, but my body just feels different: lazy and sluggish. I've got into that cycle of eating junk - craving junk - eating more junk. Its ridiculous because I know a fair bit about nutrition and health, I have no excuses.

So - a new start!
I have been meal planning :-) I had intended to start doing this a while back and never got around to it. The hours of my new job have forced the issue somewhat - getting home at 6.30pm means I don't have a lot of time to cook, so I need to prepare meals in advance. Planning the week's dinners on a Sunday, including when to cook them, makes it all feel much more organised and less stressful. I'm hoping it will work out more economical too as I'll just do one shop for the week.
I made a huge pan of lentil hotpot today - one evening meal for both of us (with rice), plus 3 lunches for me, and possibly a couple of portions for the freezer. I'm also going to make a big veggie lasagne for later in the week, most of which I can freeze in portions. There's one night a week when A goes out to Guides at 7pm, so she'll have to do her own dinner, it will be good to have some nutritious meals in the freezer that she can just bung in the oven. She is capable of cooking herself something reasonable, but what with homework and her social life, she might not manage it every week!

I've also been looking for local fitness classes, as getting to the gym and classes I used to do just doesn't work with my new schedule. So far I've found a kettlercise class one morning a week (I'm not entirely sure what kettlercise is - apparently it doesn't involve making cups of tea, which is a shame). And I'm thinking about joining the local sports club. I always thought it was too expensive, but it probably works out just as much to do what I was previously doing - travelling to a 'pay as you use' gym. It just felt cheaper as it was a little at a time.

The new job is going very well, I think I'm going to like being a postie :-)
There are two parts to the job - delivering parcels, then collection from the post boxes. The guys have all been very helpful (I am the only girl postie) although I haven't met that many of them as most have finished by the time I start. I have the driving assessment tomorrow, which I'm slightly nervous about as I'm not used to driving a van, but hopefully I'll do ok.

In other news - I made some chutney!!

It needs to mature for about a month, so I've no idea if its any good - I'll let you know.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Pink Drink

I finally got round to starting my blackcurrant vodka - pretty eh? I just need to remember to shake it every day. It will be a little Christmas treat, eventually :-)

There have been sleepovers here the last two weekends - two of A's mates from school stayed last weekend and a different one this weekend. There was also an ice-skating disco on Friday. So the social whirl that is A's life continues. I wont pretend I can keep up with it all. She's off out again today, but she was very good about fitting in her homework once her friend left yesterday :-)

So where are we with my exercise regime??? I have to admit that for the last couple of weeks I have been utterly slothful. Also, fairly gluttonous. And probably guilty of all the other deadly sins somewhere along the way.
I really don't know where my motivation has gone. I know that I felt better when I was exercising, and I enjoyed it, but somehow all I want to do at the moment is lie around eating crisps. And the longer this goes on the harder it is to start again. It would be so much easier if I could afford a big scary personal trainer to come round and shout at me every morning. But I cant, so I'll have to find another way of getting back on track.

I had a meeting with my new manager on Friday, along with another new starter (this is good - I will know someone at the induction on Tuesday!). All seems very positive, and I'm cautiously looking forward to starting work next Wednesday. Actually, I'm feeling really excited about it, as well as slightly terrified. Meeting new workmates is always scary (I'm assuming thats not just me?) but I'll be spending a fair amount of time out and about on my own - once I've done enough training - so not too much time trapped with colleagues! The fact that its a mainly male work environment makes it easier too, not sure why that should be? I suppose I have this notion that blokes don't expect you to share quite as much about yourself as women do, I may be wrong.
Anyway, I will post again once I've started and tell all!!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Non-Holiday

This is not a happy post.

The trip to Italy, it appears, was doomed. First we had to suddenly cancel the second week we had planned. Then - the day before we left - I injured my back, so the 3 and a half hours on a coach down to Edinburgh were not too much fun. Then, just as we'd checked in at the Travel Lodge for a good nights rest before the early morning flight to Pisa, Nonno received a text telling us our flight had been cancelled and we should look at the website. A general strike had been announced in Italy, and this included baggage handlers at Pisa airport.
After much confusion and a trip to the airport to try and speak to someone from Ryanair (HA!) we discovered (from the website) that all flights to Pisa for the next few days were fully booked, so the option we were given to 're-book on the next available flight' was pretty useless.
So the next day, feeling a bit shell-shocked, we got back on the Inverness bus and came home :-(

A was keen to get straight back to school, so she ended up only missing 2 days. She's been kept busy with school-life and friends, which is good. I, however, have been alternately moping about feeling sorry for myself, and trying to force myself to do 'fun things' to take my mind off the fact that I SHOULD BE IN ITALY!!! I wont even go into the stress I've experienced dealing with airlines and insurance companies - trying to claim a little back of the huge amount of money I've lost on this non-holiday. And breathe...

I did receive this through the post though:

a wonderfully thoughtful gift of commiseration from a lovely friend. It certainly made me smile :-)

Friday, 2 September 2011

Postwoman K

This will be me in a few weeks time:

Minus the cat, I hope (I'm allergic).

Yes - I got the job!!!! Just got to wait for all the police checks etc to go through, then I will get my starting date :D
I'm so happy and relieved about this, I cant believe I've managed to get a job (and one that I want!) so quickly. I'm also really pleased I didn't get the supermarket job now - the postie one is much better money, and a definite shift pattern (I've heard that the supermarket are pressuring people to take on lots of extra hours). And with A settling in to school life so well, the pessimist that I am keeps questioning - surely it cant be this easy?? 3 months ago we were quite happily plodding along with our HE life, I had an awareness that I needed to get more money coming in and was struggling to work out how to do that with A at home all the time, but things were ok. Now things are soooooo different. Its all a bit mad really.

There are some strange and puzzling things about school. Like the coat thing. Apparently "nobody wears a coat to school". Apparently, this would be the height of uncoolness. Even when its pissing with rain. I've had to bite my tongue a bit on this, after all - if she wants to sit in damp clothes all day I suppose thats her business. My, those classrooms must smell nice on rainy days!
I'm just picturing her in the depths of winter, trudging through the snow, shivering and turning blue, because: WEARING A COAT IS JUST NOT COOL MUM!!!!!!
She's off to a writing workshop today - part of our town's book and arts festival, she won her place by writing a cinquain. Only one pupil from each class got a place, so she did really well. She gets the morning off school and will spend the time with professional writer Kenneth Steven. Cant wait to hear how she got on.
And then tonight, in another part of the festival, she will be reading out some of her own pieces, along with others from her writing group. The group she's in is only small, but it grew out of a much larger adults writing group, so they are all giving an evening of readings for the festival.

This weekend will be spent packing and organising for our holiday, then on Monday we are off to Italy!! I'm so excited :-) I will bore you to death with photos when we get back ;-)